SEPA CONSIDERATIONS

Table 3: Considerations During the Threshold Determination Process (SEPA Guidelines1999 Section 2

Table 3:  Considerations During the Threshold Determination Process (SEPA Guidelines1999 Section 2.6)

“When evaluating the proposal, the responsible official must consider a number of issues. The following are examples of the type of questions that need to be answered during the review process.”

SEPA Stipulation

Response

Additional Comments

 

Are the permit application(s) and environmental checklist accurate and complete?

No.  The following have not been completed.

1.        Lease of underlying property, City of Mercer Island;

2.        Building Permit Approval, City of Mercer Island;

3.        Text Amendment to City of Mercer Island P-zone regulations;

4.        Long platting of property, City of Mercer Island;

5.        Comprehensive Plan Amendment, City of Mercer Island;

6.        Vacation of 32nd street.

7.        Environmental review pursuant to SEPA;

8.        Critical Area Determination, City of Mercer Island;

9.        Washington State Department of Ecology Construction Storm Water General Permit

10.     Mercer Island Tree Permit

11.     Explanation of work to be done outside of the lease line for construction purposes and for park improvements, including mitigation for wetland buffer mitigation. The storm water detention vault may be located below ground outside the lease line, and fire access may be required from the south.

 

1.       No applications have been made.

2.       Does not include the parking plan approval

3.       Question:  What work will need to be done outside of the lease line for construction purposes and for park improvements, Is this consistent with city code?

4.        Question:  What park improvements are being referred to.  What approvals are needed for these [so called] improvements.

5.       Question:  What mitigation for wetland buffer mitigation is contemplated and has application for it been made?

6.        Clarification needs to be made regarding (a)the storm water detention vault that may be located below ground outside the lease line, and (b) fire access may be required from the south.

7.       No application has been made to vacate SE 32nd street. 

 

 

Are there any additional studies and/or information available that would help in the evaluation of the proposal? (I.e. an environmental impact statement on the comprehensive plan, or on a similar project, or on a project at a similar location.)

Yes, additional studies are needed because although MICA has submitted reports regarding the suitability of the site for the proposed building, the reports that have been submitted do not accurately represent the environmental impacts of the planned project.

We do not find the supporting studies compelling and believe An Environmental Impact Statement is needed because

1.         the wetland buffer would be reduced to 25’,

2.        the steep slope presents landslide threats,

3.        Other areas such as storm water runoff need additional study.

 

Are specific studies needed under the (1) development regulations, (2) SEPA, or (3) other local, state, or federal regulations? For example, is a wetland study, a transportation study, or an archaeological review needed?

Yes.  Additional studies are needed.

1.        A further wetlands study is needed.

2.        A transportation study is needed.

3.        Additional parking studies are needed as the one done is no longer valid due to changing traffic patterns following the closure of the 77th Avenue SE ramp to I-90. 

4.        A study pertaining to the short term and potential long-term precedence of the lease of underlying property by the City of Mercer Island to a private organization.

5.        A study of the impact of a text Amendment to City of Mercer Island P-zone regulations and Mercer Island parks;

6.        Study and determination of the advisability of vacating the SE 32nd  Street right of way  which will be required to construct the MICA building.

7.        Determination if a comprehensive Plan Amendment is needed

8.        Environmental review pursuant to SEPA;

9.        Critical Area Determination, City of Mercer Island;

10.     Determination by the Washington State Department of Ecology regarding Storm Water

11.      Study regarding destruction of Mercer Island Trees

12.     What work will need to be done outside of the lease line for construction purposes?

13.     What park improvements will be made and what is the impact of these improvements?

14.     What is the mitigation for wetland buffer encroachment?

15.     Where is the storm water detention vault located:  Is it below ground  outside the lease line or inside the lease line? If under the building, what are the requirements considering the soil? (It was considered too wet/unstable for an underground parking garage.)

16.     Will the fire access may be required from the south?.

17.     A lighting study is needed.

18.     A sound study in needed

19.     A visibility study is needed.

20.     A study pertaining to the sale and use of alcohol on public parkland, now prohibited by City regulations, is needed. The study should include implications for other parkland if an exception is made for this parkland.

See Column to the left.

 

Is early consultation with tribes, other agencies, and/or the public required or would it be beneficial? What form should this take?

Yes. the public should be fully consulted.  A vote should be taken on this project.

Require a ballot measure on the February ballot so that the public can vote on whether or not to lease public parkland to a private group for a building constructed by a private group.  Leasing public land to one private group could lead to additional demands by other private groups for parkland to construct their privately owned and operated buildings.

 

Is the project consistent with the local critical area ordinances, development regulations, and comprehensive plan? (GMA counties and cities should refer to Section 8.4.1. on Analyzing Consistency.)

No. the project is not consistent with MICC 20.07.060, 070, 080 nor with Chapter 15.09 of the storm water management program.  The use of swales and the underwater detention tank need further study.

This calls for a declaration of significance and requires an EIS.

 

Is the proposal consistent with other local, state, and federal regulations (such as those governed by regional air authorities, health districts, and state natural resource agencies)?

Unclear

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Ecology should be consulted and their approval should be documented.

 

Will mitigation/conditions be required by the local development regulations or other local, state, or federal regulations?

It is recommended that an EIS be required to definitely answer questions regarding mitigation/requirements. 

See above comments regarding permits required and studies needed.

 

What are the likely adverse environmental impacts of the proposal? Have the reasonable concerns of tribes, other agencies, and the public been met?

No. (Reasonable concerns of the public have NOT been met with regard to environmental concerns, including protecting public parkland.)

 

 

Is the applicant willing to change the proposal to eliminate or reduce the likely adverse environmental impacts of the proposal?

Unclear. 

 

 

Are there additional environmental impacts that have not been mitigated? Are there possible mitigation measures that could be required using SEPA substantive authority to mitigate those impacts?

Yes, but further study is required to examine these in detail.  An EIS is recommended.

See above recommended additional studies.

 

Are there likely significant adverse environmental impacts that have not been mitigated to a non-significant level?

Yes. The building is out of proportion with the area and could only be mitigated if a much smaller building were proposed.

Location of the facility in other than a public park would render moot all of the comments in this document.